Today's episode is with Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross Ulbricht. Ross Ulbricht is currently serving a double life + 40 years sentence for his role in the Silk Road, an early Bitcoin marketplace. On this episode Lyn and I discuss: Bitcoin's Role in Ross' Aggressive Sentencing • The Failed Drug War • Criminal Justice Reform • And Most Importantly, How We Can #FreeRoss • Please sign Ross' petition for clemency • I highly recommend watching RailRoaded to learn more about Ross' case • FreeRoss.org • You can find Ross on Twitter @RealRossU and you can follow this podcast @Contrarian Cast. •
Read the Show Recap courtesy of BlockchainSEO.net here:
At the very beginning of Episode 5, Matt notes the intertwinement of Bitcoin’s existence not only with that of financial transactions, but today’s sociological, economical, and of course political landscapes, laying the ultimate framework for the thesis of the episode; the fight for Ross Ulbricht’s freedom.
For those unfamiliar with Ross Ulbricht, founder of the online, black market, e-commerce platform operating from February 2011 until late 2013, let’s take a deeper look at what the Silk Road was, along with the events leading up to Ross’s double life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Simply put, the Silk Road was the first modern darknet e-commerce platform and market for users to purchase literally anything. At the helm of the Silk Road was then 27 year old Ross Ulbricht, who, along with several others, operated the account and username ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ (DPR), named after the fictional character from 1973 fantasy romance novel “The Princess Bride.”
Specifically, the Silk Road operated on The Onion Router (Tor) network, a volunteer overlay network geared towards identity obfuscation and anonymity, enabling users to browse and transact anonymously and securely.
The sole currency accepted and transacted with on the Silk Road? Bitcoin.
After a June 2011 Gawker article detailing the depths of the Silk Road went viral, the site became heavily scrutinized, and the subject of several government investigations (prompted by New York senator Chuck Schumer).
Arrest & Conviction
In late 2013, Ulbricht was arrested while at the San Francisco Public Library, and charged as the “mastermind” behind the Silk Road. Initially, Ulbricht was indicted on charges of computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, money laundering, and murder-for-hire. However; the murder-for-hire charges were ultimately dropped.
On February 4th, 2015, Ulbricht was convicted on seven charges, ranging from computer hacking, to engaging a continuing enterprise, all the way to narcotics trafficking, and subsequently sentenced to double life imprisonment plus forty years, all without the possibility of parole.
“We’re losing our right to a fair and impartial trial in this country.”
In Episode 5 of the Contrarian Island Podcast, podcast host Matt interviews Lyn Ulbricht following her recent move from Colorado to Tucson Arizona due to Ross’s recent prison transfer. She notes that while held at USP Florence High, a high-security prison in Colorado, due to his charges (life in prison), Ross was held and mixed in with violent offenders and living under highly restricted conditions. Ro